Sunday, September 11, 2011


I didn't think I was going to post anything today: I didn't know anyone who died on that day 10 years ago, I was not in harm's way (though I feared such) living just outside of Atlanta. What right do I have to write about September 11th?

And yet there's something I want to note here--maybe so I can help myself believe and hope.

At my house we started the day by watching footage of what happened in New York, much of it filmed by regular people looking out the window of their Manhattan apartment or stopping in the streets on their way to work. I was astounded at how quickly it brought old feelings to the surface.

Last night at dinner we talked to our son, who was too young to remember the day, about what we experienced and thought and worried about, how we walked through that day, and what we felt about what happened afterward.

For part of the day today I was pretty unhappy, thinking about the direction our country seems to have taken of late--so much fear and suspicion and distrust, so many people dismissing others' humanity with a single word or label, so many people not listening to each other, not being gentle or kind.

But then, this evening, Dexter and I went to a memorial service at my school. One of the speakers was a freshman, the daughter of one of the people killed on that day. Lots of students--many more than I thought--showed up to listen and sing and pray, and dedicate a tree in memory of the loved ones lost. The chaplain and the president told of inspiring service projects, some created by students or alumni in memory of those loved ones: houses repaired, a school for girls built in Afghanistan.

And then we all lit candles and walked to the fire station near campus and brought our first responders loaves of bread, made by our students from cultures and faith traditions from all over the world. (There was so much bread that much of it will be taken to the food pantry in town.)

I hugged my kid--in public--and for once he let me, without protest. He even held my arm for part of the time.

And I kept repeating something I fervently believe and want to believe:

Love wins. Love always wins.

May it be so.

1 comment: